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Absolutely beautifully written.This is children's literature at its finest. If Beyond the Bright Sea doesn't win an award, I honestly don't know what will. Crow's story tugs at your heart at all times and has so many deep lessons for everyone of all ages, relating to family, fear, greed and more. I have read Wolk's Wolf Hollow, and I really loved it as well but Beyond the Bright Sea, is my favourite. This is an absolute must in classrooms, especially for middle schoolers. I am sure Crow's story will stay with readers, close to their hearts, for a long, long time. Hats off to Wolk, she is truly a gifted writer who has gained yet another fan!
It is difficult to find the right words to describe this book without it sounding excessively sweet. I am an 80 year old man who hates books, movies, and TV shows that ooze and drip with sickeningly sweet syrup. "Beyond the Bright Sea" is a beautiful and genuine story told by a very gifted writer. If you do not read it you will miss one of the most rewarding reading experiences one can find.
My 10 year old daughter really did not let like this book. She is gifted snd has read at least a hundred books. She found this book to be a “horror book” and thought was very creepy. She was very unsettled after reading and I wish I did not buy it for her.
“Beyond the Bright Sea” could have been an above-average book had it not been seriously bruised by three avoidable imperfections.
First, it is hard to imagine another first-person work so overwhelmed by its pronoun. A virtual infantry of I’s pounds across the pages, vertical intruders inexorably shifting the reader’s focus from the story to the grammar. It is a distraction that could have been eliminated with more discipline or better editing.
Second, key parts of the book are so contrived they become a fetch too far. Most notably in a clutch of just a few pages, the protagonist takes her first-ever-alone ferry trip resulting in encounters with: (a) a possible lost relative who happens to be at the rail of a passing ship; (b) a person she has never met before willingly spilling a great deal of information about that possible relative, and; (c) a coincidental brush with the story’s arch villain. All this on a round trip in a single day. Please. Harder work and a more dispassionate review process could have made this more believable.
Third, a sort of Hallmark Channel formula begins to emerge. The Annabelle of “Wolf Hollow” becomes the Crow of “Beyond the Bright Sea” becomes the Ellie of “Echo Mountain.” Although the geography changes, the circumstances, dilemmas and fears are all too familiar among the three Wolk books.
Lauren Wolk is a fine writer, but one who needs to shake the foundations to begin building something new.
This is my front runner for the 2018 Newbery Awards- and it is on my fifth graders' short list in their #MockNewbery voting. Lauren Wolk has written another story as wonderful as last year's Wolf Hollow. Crow, Osh and Miss Maggie create an unusually endearing family- and they are three characters that I haven't stopped thinking about since I read the book last June. Plus, with this book you get a mystery and some adventure that will keep kids entertained. But it is the language Wolk uses in Beyond the Bright Sea that is so truly exceptional. I hated that the book ended- I have revisited passages several times with my fifth grade students - and I hope that the Newbery committee is smart enough to put this book at the top of its list!